Letter From the Editor: June 2018

d5a8128Pervading Passions

By Margaret Clay

June is such a month of pleasure. School is out, pool parties ensue, and vacations abound. In this issue, I am struck by the consuming passion and joy that has burned its way out of the hearts of local Columbians into incredible accomplishments, both as careers and as hobbies. For example, on page 34, read about how Dreher graduates Erin and Garrett Graham turned their love of summer camp into buying historic Camp Glen Arden in North Carolina. There, they continue the old traditions that have delighted young girls for generations, as well as invent their own additions.

Local celebrity Amanda McNulty fused her bubbly personality and green thumb into a delightful package that ultimately landed her as host of ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. Rather than pursue her original plans of working in diplomacy, she allowed her passion to sidetrack her into a successful and fulfilling vocation. Read about her Emmy Award-winning career and “common sense approach to gardening” on page 24.
The tedious process of fine art restoration can only be described as a labor of love. Ginny Newell combined her knowledge of art history, acumen of chemistry, and dexterity as a painter to start ReNewell, Inc. Fine Art Conservation. Now, people from across the country seek her expertise in restoring valuable artwork. Learn more about her unique talent and the process of art restoration on page 72.

Jamie Walker has traveled to Costa Rica for years in pursuit of sailfish; however, his curiosity about where they disappeared to in the summers led him to institute the Billfish Research Project, the world’s only scientific study focused on Pacific sailfish migration off the coast of Costa Rica. Take a glimpse of his gorgeous photography of these majestic fish, and learn more about the project on page 56.

Yet another growing trend for the outdoorsman is reusing closed fire towers as private nature lookouts, enjoyed for their panoramic views of wildlife and summer sunsets. Find out how to acquire your own crow’s nest retreat on page 38, and start enjoying cocktail hour on top of the world.

Others in Columbia have moved just down the road to pursue their equine passion full time on horse farms in pastoral Blythewood. Read about this bucolic community and its newest prancing residents on page 48.

No matter your passion, “take it to the max,” and enjoy!


History on Display

cotton-2807360_960_720Camden features cotton mill era exhibit until August

By Deena C. Bouknight

At one time, cotton truly was king in  South Carolina. Thousands of acres of rural farmland were snowy white for about six weeks from late summer into early fall. And, while spinning yarn into cloth was an aspect of life for many from as early as the 17th century in South Carolina, it was the 1800s when cotton crops and textile mills thrived. Even post-Civil War, cotton continued as a major crop, and today, at least a half million bales are harvested annually.

To honor the importance of cotton as a South Carolina staple, The Camden Archives & Museum opened an exhibit on the textile industry on February 5, 2018. “Camden’s Cotton Mill Era: 1838-1960” focuses on how the lives of thousands of mill workers and their families were centered on the mills.  This exhibit explores the mills, the people who owned and who labored at them, and the impact they had on Camden.

The exhibit is free to the public and runs through August 11, 2018. For more information or to schedule a group, call 803-425-6050, or visit http://www.camdenschistory.com.

Ottie Roberson Celebrates her 107th Birthday

By Delia Corrigan

West Columbia resident Ottie Roberson celebrated her 107th birthday on March 18th. Her smile and interest in the people around her — caregivers, family, and friends — reveal a strong, compassionate and positive woman who has seen much of life.

Ottie recently enjoyed a birthday visit from Dr. Mark Smith and Debbie Smith, President and First Lady of Columbia International University, who wanted to personally honor the college’s oldest living alumni. Along with others from the CIU Alumni Office, they harmonized on “Great is Thy Faithfulness” and “Amazing Grace,” to the delight of Roberson. “Her heart of thanksgiving for me showing up was unbelievable. The joy in the visit was ours, not hers,” says Dr. Smith. Recently, CIU established a scholarship in her name to help students in need of financial aid.

In 2002, when Mrs. Roberson was a mere 91 years old, she, with the help of family members, collected data and family photos and wrote down her memories in a booklet entitled, “A Loving Glimpse of the Past.” The fascinating portrait of her earliest memories, up to age sixteen, is a record of how we South Carolinians are ever changing, yet ever the same.

Included in the memoir is a contemplation entitled “Realization”, which she composed at 83 years of age. She writes, “I’m standing at the crossroads of my life … I long to go back and change the past, but it’s too late. I realize now that life’s too short … No one has the answer; only God knows how and why. I pray that he will guide me through the times I cannot foresee, and then let me rest and be at peace in his promised eternity.”

Ottie is a descendant of hardworking German immigrants who landed in Boston prior to the American Revolution. They soon moved to Pennsylvania, and then migrated to a German speaking community in York County. They were stonemasons, and the home they built in what is now Kings Mountain State Park is nicknamed “The Rock House.” It is occasionally open to the public.

Ottie’s parents lost their first two babies, one a stillborn and the other at four-years old. Ottie describes how her father got on a mule at 2 a.m. to get Dr. Allhands to come. The doctor had been out all night delivering a baby and needed to sleep, promising to get there by 9 am. Ottie writes, “The Doctor came but was too late.”

Within a year, Ealon was born, and on March 18, 1911, Ottie was born. Five healthy siblings soon joined the family.

Ottie Roberson has lived and thrived through the historic events of the last century. Her family farmed crops ranging from cotton to cane, and many staples in between. Ottie remembers crossing a field without realizing that the bull calf was out, and she writes, “First thing I knew he came at me, picked me up with his head and literally threw me over the gate … I had a few bruises, but my feelings were hurt worse because my brother was bent over laughing at me.”

The mode of transportation changed from wagon to buggy to a model T that her father drove into a ditch because so many neighbors crowded the road to get their first sighting of a car. Ottie lived through two world wars, an influenza epidemic, and welcomed her handsome husband home from World War II. “We were never rich in material things but very rich in what counted most; honest, sincere, work, and respect and love for the Lord and His church,” writes Ottie.

From all of us at CMM, happy 107 years young to Ottie! What an honor to have you as part of our community.


South Carolina Originals

By Margaret Clay

This past year, we at CMM were very excited to unveil the Capital Young Professional Awards, honoring men and women 35 and younger who are excelling in their careers, community leadership, and philanthropy. We received many impressive nominations again this year, and it was a truly difficult process to determine the top 20, who were then reviewed by the CMM team along with a committee from United Way of the Midlands.

After a weeks-long process, we selected the Top Ten Finalists, whom we celebrated with a party at Senate’s End on April 24. I hope you were able to come! We were proud to honor Anthony Broughton, Elliott Daniels, Mary Cothonneau Eldridge, Hamilton Grant, Trevor Knox, Tripp Rush, Lauren Truslow, Ashlye Wilkerson, Lyndey Zwing, and most especially our 2018 CYP winner — Lindsay Joyner.

These inspiring individuals are shaping the future of Columbia through their unique skill sets and passions that benefit our community. Elliott, for example, is making great strides toward ending sex trafficking in our state, while Anthony is changing the courses of countless lives through making education cool for young children. We are privileged to know these emerging leaders who serve as beacons of positive change that would behoove us all to emulate. Read more about our CYP finalists and their impressive accomplishments and goals on page 52.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into WWI, the birth of Fort Jackson, as well as Armistice Day. Read Tom Smith’s insightful reflections on South Carolina’s role in “the war to end all wars” on page 30.

Perhaps my favorite experience to come from putting this issue together was encountering Marsh Tackies — South Carolina’s official state heritage horse. These incredibly versatile and steady little equines were Francis Marion’s choice for evading the British in the tricky terrain of the swamps, and they are making a resurgence in popularity as trail riding companions thanks to the efforts of many to repopulate the breed. Read more about them and other native South Carolina pets on page 116.

Lastly, visually prepare for long summer days on the water by taking a look at Robert Clark’s beautiful photo essay, “Down at the Dock,” featuring marinas and docks across South Carolina on page 60. However, you don’t have to journey far from home to reap the benefits of the great outdoors. Warren Hughes shares the boons of taking a stroll through nature and basking in the earth’s elements in her article about the new trend of “forest bathing” on page 46.

I hope you enjoy this issue!

Experiencing History Through Music

Colla Voce Performs “Annelies” based on The Diary of Anne Frank

By Deena C. Bouknight

Anne Frank’s diary survived the Holocaust, even though she did not. Although her non-fiction prose conveys a time of terror and confinement during the Nazi occupation of Holland, a musical telling of her life – by British composer James Whitborn – celebrates the teenager’s prevailing observations in a work called “Annelies.” Colla Voce, which means “with the voice,” is performing this program on Sunday, April 29 at the Jewish Community Center in Columbia. These local, professionally trained singers are directed by USC’s Director of Choral Studies, Larry Wyatt, Ph.D.

“Annelies” comes to Columbia after Colla Voce performs at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., on April 22nd. Joining Colla Voce is David Ehrlich and the Avanti Trio, out of Blacksburg, Virginia; according to Dr. Wyatt, these musicians regularly perform a Holocaust Remembrance Concert, and he approached them about performing together with Colla Voce.

Described as “woundingly beautiful” by The Daily Telegraph in London, “Annelies” became the first major choral setting of The Diary of Anne Frank when it was created in 2004. Conveyed in the performance’s program notes is this summary of the composer’s inspiration: “It brings to life the diary written by Annelies Marie Frank between 1942 and 1944 when she and her family hid in the back of an Amsterdam warehouse. From the windows, Anne looked up to the beauty of the sky, and downwards to the brutality meted out by the Nazis. The contrasting sights inspired some of the most profound and memorable thoughts in an extraordinary diary, read by millions of people throughout the world.”

“Annelies” is a work in 14 movements for chorus, soprano, and chamber instruments.

Dr. Wyatt shares how the musicians have performed “Annelies” in many corners of the globe, including in Israel last year. Interestingly, renowned violinist David Ehrlich’s 95-year-old mother survived the Holocaust, making the work extremely personal to him. His wife, Teresa, is the pianist, while Dr. Wyatt’s son is the cellist and his son’s wife, Ariana, is the soloist.

Colla Voce is made up of 30 members, all singers. Dr. Wyatt leads the group and together they rehearse weekly nine months of the year. Colla Voce performs at least three concerts in Columbia and accepts a few out-of-town concerts as well. Dr. Wyatt, the group’s conductor, organized Colla Voce 15 years ago. Performers range in age from 20s to 70s; all have various levels of professional training.

Says Dr. Wyatt, “’Annelies’ is a substantial work.  It is a challenging work to sing, and because of its emotive content, sometimes it is difficult to contain our emotions. Often singers in the group and especially the audience, are brought to tears.” He adds, “This work certainly represents shared experience on a very different and important level. In spite of the ordeal of being in hiding, the fear of capture and the normal growth experience of this adolescent girl, she expresses a positive outlook and a belief in the inherent goodness that is in the human spirit.”

He shares that at the first presentation of “Annelies,” an attendee came up to Dr. Wyatt afterwards and asked if he could distribute recordings of Annaliese. “I asked him why he wished to do this … he said that his grandmother was a friend of Anne Frank and that he wanted this story shared as much as possible. That is our goal, too.”

For tickets to “Annelies,” call (803) 777-5369. The performance takes place at 3 p.m. on April 29th, and tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door.

Hidden Gala at Columbia Museum of Art

“Seen & Unseen” and much more on April 21st!

By Deena C. Bouknight

“The Hidden Gala is a fantastic way to experience the museum,” share Julie Brenan and Steven Ford, co-chairs for the 2018 black-tie affair celebrating and supports arts. Whether a frequent visitor to the downtown museum or curious about what is offered, Julie and Steven explain in a joint statement that the Gala affords anyone “a night of excitement, glamour, and mystery. You get to have fun, dance, enjoy incredible food and drinks, experience amazing art, and hunt for sneak peaks into the CMA’s ongoing transformation.”

Believe it or not, the Columbia Museum of Art opened in Columbia in 1950 and moved into its current modern architecture building in 1998.  The museum currently has more than 20,000 square feet of gallery space, as well as a collection that numbers more than 7,000 objects. The building has work spaces, storage for collections, art studios, a 154-seat auditorium, a museum shop, and reception and event spaces.

The Gala is the CMA’s largest annual fundraiser; this year the focus is on its major spring exhibit, titled “Seen & Unseen: Photographs by Imogen Cunningham.” Curated by the CMA’s Chief Curator Will South, the exhibition spotlights the photographer’s deeply poetic work, taken in the early 1900s.

Guests to the Gala will be treated not only to exhibits, but also a menu of food prepared by Southern Way, a specialty cocktail, and a Lexus bubbly bar. Plus, there will be entertainment: jazz by Station Seven Band, dance music by Snow DJ Kevin Snow, and contemporary ballet by USC Dance Company.

Main sponsors of the event, held to raise critical funds necessary to continue the CMA’s ongoing efforts, are: Jim Hudson Lexus, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, and Joyce and George Hill.

“We can’t wait to open the doors April 21st and welcome everyone to the best party in town,” say Julie and Steven.

Doors open at 7 p.m. There is complimentary valet parking. For tickets and information, visit http://www.columbiamuseum.org/gala.


“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.” – William Shakespeare


April’s temperate weather provides an inviting month to entertain, allowing for flow between indoor and outdoor “rooms” without the restraints of heating and cooling. One of my favorite articles in this issue is “Spontaneous Entertaining,” which takes the stress out of hosting. While it is true that nothing competes with the magic in a party where the hostess pulls out all the stops, not every gathering requires that level of preparation. Why not have a spontaneous get-together? Clear the kids’ stuff off the sofa and have friends over for appetizers and drinks. Sweep the back porch and just invite a small group over to enjoy takeout from a favorite restaurant. For tips on fun, easy hosting, read Muffie Wells’ article on page 58.

The nice weather this month also makes it prime time for events around town. How exciting to see our city developing into such a diverse hot spot for the arts! Check out our article on page 48 to learn more about Columbia’s jazz scene, and you may cancel your trip to New Orleans as there are multiple opportunities most nights of the week to hear the enchanting, sultry strains of the saxophone. The Cayce Beautification Foundation commissioned Wade Geddings to carve a series of woodland creatures out of the deadfall just off the Cayce Riverwalk (featured on page 70). Take an afternoon to meander beside the river and marvel that the magical animals peeping out from behind stumps and through the branches were all carved with a chainsaw.

We are also very excited in this issue to feature young artists behind the camera lens as we publish the next generation of photographers in our first USC student photography contest. Professor of visual communications Van Kornegay challenged his senior portfolio class to study the nuances of photographing Columbia at night. A hearty congratulations to Kristen Clark for her winning photograph of the State House, “State of Reflection,” as well as to the other talented students whose work we are proud to showcase in a photo essay on page 64.

Lastly, be sure to mark your busy calendars for Tuesday, April 24. We will honor our Top Ten 2018 Capital Young Professionals, as well as announce the winner, at a party at Senate’s End, and everyone is invited! Ticket sales benefit the United Way of the Midlands and can be purchased at ColumbiaMetro.com. We look forward to seeing you there!

“Grown to Dye” DIY Tips

By Deena C. Bouknight

Debby Greenlaw, featured in the March issue of Columbia Metropolitan in an article titled “Grown to Dye,” shares her fiber arts techniques for those who wish to try their hand at this old-fashioned craft.


Step 1:  Weigh the quantity of dyestuff.

A general rule of thumb is to use equal weights of dry raw dyestuff and dry goods (fiber, fabric). Light and medium values require less dyestuff.

Step 2:  Add enough water to cover the dyestuff plus a little more to allow for evaporation during heating.

Extracting the dye from the dyestuff ahead of time instead of dyeing the goods directly with the raw dyestuff prevents pieces of the dyestuff from catching in the goods or dyeing them unevenly.

Note – If  adding dyestuff directly to the dyepot, place the dyestuff in some type of bag (such as a nylon mesh bag). Natural dye powders or extracts go directly into the dyepot.

Step 3:  Heat to and maintain simmer for 30–60 minutes. Be aware that some dye pigments are heat sensitive and will lose their brilliancy at higher heat.

Step 4:  Check color after 30 minutes; check again every 5 minutes if desiring a deeper color. When the extraction is complete, let the bath cool down, remove the dyestuff, and strain for smaller pieces.

If you think that there may be more color left in the dyestuff, first pour the extracted dye solution into a separate pot or container. For subsequent extractions, repeat procedure using fresh water each time. This procedure can be repeated until no more dye color is released.

Step 5:  Ready for the dyeing process.


Step 1:  Place the extracted dye in the dyepot. If you’re using a powder/liquid dye extract, completely dissolve it in warm-to-hot water and then add to dyepot. If using a dye extract, the concentration level varies; this information is provided by the supplier.

Step 2:  Add enough water to cover the goods and so they can move freely. The additional water will not weaken the value of the color, which is determined by the amount of dyestuff in proportion to the amount of fiber.

Step 3:  Soak goods to be dyed in water for at least 30 minutes.

Step 4:  Add the well-wetted goods to the dyepot.

Step 5:  Slowly heat the dyepot to a simmer, and hold at this temperature for at least 30 minutes. Gently rotate the goods to allow even penetration of the dye.

Note: Special care must be taken with wool to prevent felting. 

Step 6: Check the color of the goods after 30 minutes. When desired color (typically color appears darker when wet than when dry), turn off the heat.

Step 7: Remove goods, gently squeeze out excess liquid, rinse in water, and hang it to dry

Alternative – Let fiber or yarn cool down in the dyepot overnight. Some dyes, such as cochineal, intensify while cooling.

Step 8: After you have removed the goods from the dyebath, assess the color of the bath. If some dye is still present, you can dye more goods in what is now termed the exhaust bath. Each successive dyeing will yield a color of lighter value than the previous one.

For more hands-on information about fiber arts and to learn about fiber workshops, visit Debby’s Flora & Fiber Handcrafting Traditions site: http://www.florafiber.live.

Tasting Notes

Savory temptations await at the S.C. Philharmonic’s signature fundraiser

By Deena C. Bouknight

The South Carolina State Museum is the site of this year’s Tasting Notes, an evening of food and wine to raise funds for the S.C. Philharmonic. Scheduled for Monday, March 26 from 6:30 to 10 p.m., Tasting Notes is expected to attract 550 foodies and oenophiles from throughout the Midlands. The goal of the event is to raise at least $50,000. This is the S.C. Philharmonic’s signature annual fundraising event. Monies raised support a variety of community musical events, including Master Series concerts and the Healing Harmonies concerts at local hospitals.

Attendees will have a chance to sample foods from 19 different restaurants, as well as 50 quality wines from around the world. A few wineries represented include Cakebread, J. Lohr, and King Estate. Plus, there are opportunities to savor Tinder Box cigars and Twisted Spur beer, and the Gourmet Shop will have an array of various cheeses.

Additionally, a silent auction will feature these signature items such as:

  • One week stay in a charming, 3 bedroom/3 bath country home in Nyons, France
  • A two-night stay at the Ledson Hotel in historic Sonoma Square, including a private wine tasting for two at the Ledson Winery in Sonoma, California
  • Artwork from local artists
  • Charleston getaways
  • A variety of high end wines from around the world
  • Other surprises!

Music is provided by Reggie Sullivan Quartet and the Dreher High School steel drum ensemble.

Upon arrival, attendees can take advantage of complimentary Southern Valet parking, while Checker Yellow Cab service offers complimentary rides home.

Tickets are $100 each and can be purchased on scphilharmonic.com/TastingNotes. Attire is business casual.

See you there!